Amid the designer outfits and formal elegance on display at US President Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, an unlikely fashion icon emerged to steal the show and spawn a thousand memes — veteran Senator Bernie Sanders.
Sanders, 79, was one of the scattering of guests, and the socialist from Vermont made an instant impact on social media.
Huddled up on a folding chair, with arms crossed, wearing huge knitted mittens and a beige coat to ward off the wintery conditions, Sanders watched his former rival become president.
Sanders, who arrived carrying a large brown envelope, was compared to a grandfather stopping in at the inauguration on the way to the post office, or perhaps he was off to pick up a doctor’s prescription.
His wife Jane O’Meara Sanders embraced the look — tweeting “Vermont jacket, Vermont gloves, Vermont common sense!”
Vogue declared that “nothing looks as good on him as his signature anti-fashion style.”
Fans of the progressive lawmaker kvelled on Twitter over the homemade gloves, which were gifted to him by a schoolteacher in his state of Vermont. As the teacher, Jen Ellis, wrote on Twitter, they are made of wool from repurposed sweaters and lined with fleece made from recycled water bottles.
I made Bernie’s mittens as a gift a couple years ago. They are made from repurposed wool sweaters and lined with fleece (made from recycled plastic bottles). #BerniesMittens pic.twitter.com/lTXFJvVy9V
— Jen Ellis (@vtawesomeness) January 21, 2020
The look earned him his own inauguration Bobblehead to mark his viral fashion moment. It’s now on pre-sale for $25 at the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s online store.
Brooklyn-born Sanders sparked an avalanche of memes.
NYC Instagram is so quick pic.twitter.com/Br6TarGXXb
— Rania Said (@rania_tn) January 20, 2021
these Bernie Sanders memes are the highlight of my day pic.twitter.com/IlajUwMOIa
— shum ♥ (@h2overwithlife) January 20, 2021
This is the best one I’ve seen so far fwiw pic.twitter.com/kd3fOgyyCb
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 21, 2021
Including, a whole bunch of Jewish-themed ones.
when you're at a shiva for a guy you didn't like pic.twitter.com/Qy5vOQdiqM
— Kairotic Neutral (@AriBrostoff) January 20, 2021
Me swinging by my Dad's shul for my annual visit on my Zaida's yahrzeit, forced to sit upstairs *and* behind a mechitzah pic.twitter.com/8VGidmufJI
— Elissa Goldstein (@goldsteinelissa) January 20, 2021
Every audience member with a "question" at a YIVO lecture. pic.twitter.com/8Inqm0DVPm
— portnoy (@eddyportnoy) January 21, 2021
In Jewish yoga this pose is: waiting for my wife at Loehmann's pic.twitter.com/Qik7wsZ0ad
— Chandra Steele (@ChanSteele) January 20, 2021
Sanders wasn’t the only newly minted Jewish fashion icon.
Ella Emhoff, Jewish daughter of the historic Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, wore a dress designed by the celebrated Jewish fashion designer Batsheva Hay to Wednesday’s ceremony.
Hay, known in the fashion world by her first name, posted on Instagram that Emhoff wore her “burgundy moiré dress” to the festivities.
Kamala Harris’ niece Meena wore a similarly styled dress, and the two posed together — but Batsheva pointed out that she didn’t know who had designed Meena’s frock.
Batsheva, whose dresses have been worn by celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker, is known for blending Orthodox modesty rules into high fashion.